|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Jersey's 5th district
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847
|Preceded by||John Bancker Aycrigg|
John Patterson Bryan Maxwell
Joseph Fitz Randolph
Charles C. Stratton
Thomas J. Yorke (Elected statewide on a Whig Party general ticket)
|Succeeded by||Dudley S. Gregory|
|United States Senator|
from New Jersey
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859
|Preceded by||Jacob W. Miller|
|Succeeded by||John C. Ten Eyck|
|United States Senator|
from New Jersey
March 4, 1863 – November 1, 1866
|Preceded by||James Walter Wall|
|Succeeded by||Frederick T. Frelinghuysen|
|Born||November 13, 1794|
Clarksville, New York
|Died||November 1, 1866 (aged 71)|
Flemington, New Jersey
|Political party||Whig (House)|
William Wright (November 13, 1794 – November 1, 1866) was an American politician who served as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district as a Whig in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847, and represented New Jersey in the United States Senate as a Democrat from 1853 to 1859, and again from 1863 until his death.
He was born in Clarkstown, Rockland County, New York; attended the public schools and Poughkeepsie Academy; was a volunteer for the defense of Stonington, Connecticut, in the War of 1812; learned the saddler's trade and engaged in business in Bridgeport, Connecticut; moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1821 and ran a saddlery and leather business there. He served as mayor of Newark from 1840 to 1843.
In October 1843, Wright was elected as an Independent Whig to the 28th United States Congress in the new 5th Congressional District (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties), and was reelected as a Whig without opposition in 1844 to the 29th United States Congress (March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847).
He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 1847, and affiliated with the Democratic Party in 1850. Wright was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1859, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1858. He was the chairman, Committee on Manufactures (33rd United States Congress and 34th United States Congress), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (35th United States Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (35th Congress); again elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1863 until his death in Newark. He was interred in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark.
Their son Colonel Edward H. Wright (1824–1913) was a career officer in the United States Army. Edward Wright was the husband of Dorothea "Dora" Eliza Mason (October 29, 1840 – October 4, 1916). Known as Dora, she was the daughter of Governor Stevens T. Mason. Edward and Dora Wright were the parents of William M. Wright, a U.S. Army officer who attained the rank of lieutenant general.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 97. ISBN 978-0029201701.
- Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. p. 134. ISBN 978-0786402830.
- Lee, Francis Bazley (1910). Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey. I. New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 103 – via Google Books.
- Committee on Printing (1908). Third Record Book of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Rhode Island. Providence, RI: Snow & Farnham Co. p. 385 – via Google Books.
- United States Congress. "William Wright (id: W000772)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- William Wright at The Political Graveyard
- William Wright at Find a Grave
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.